Can Hunts Pond be saved?

NEW BERLIN – Memorial Day won’t be the same for Pat Patterson and her family. “We would have been there, definitely,” the Otsego County resident said, referring to Hunts Pond State Park in New Berlin. She and her family have made camping and fishing at the quiet, secluded park a family tradition for many years.

This year, however, while Bowman Lake State Park and other parks across New York are gearing up for the summer season, Hunts Pond State Park remains shuttered. Notices on the Parks Department’s website indicate that the 250-acre New Berlin facility will not be open for the 2010 season “due to New York State’s fiscal crisis.”

Hunts Pond is not alone; it is one of 41 parks and 14 historical sites closed this year as a result of $6.3 million in cuts to the New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historical Preservation budget. Service reductions have also been made at a number of properties in an effort to meet the savings target handed down by Governor David Paterson in his executive budget proposal.

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